"Why the new iPhones heralds an augmented reality explosion"
The latest iPhones, due to be revealed on Tuesday, could be the biggest shift-change in how we interact with technology in a decade. It was at the equivalent event ten years ago that Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone and ushered in the era of the multi-touchscreen, now his successor, Tim Cook, is poised to reveal no less than three new iPhones – all with augmented reality at their core.
While producing immersive experiences for clients, the team at Draw & Code have already seen augmented reality grow into a medium that attracts tens, if not hundreds, of millions of users daily, primarily but not solely due to SnapChat. Now, on the eve of the next iPhone announcement, we are preparing for further popularisation of the technology as Apple throws its full weight behind it.
“Within the next decade two billion people will use AR-enabled apps daily,” says Draw & Code co-founder John Keefe, “It’s something Apple recognised when they started snapping up AR tech companies and now we’re about to see the fruits of that investment.”
With speculation that more than one smartphone will be revealed at the September 12th Apple event that marks a decade since Steve Jobs memorably showed the original iPhone to the world, the anticipation in tech-circles is building. It is widely predicted that the next generation of iPhones will be designed with AR in mind, especially as similar technology is also featured on rival Android devices including Sony’s new Xperia handset.
“I remember the revealing of the original iPhone and using it even before the App Store had come online” says John Keefe, Draw & Code co-founder, “It was clear that this would change the game for phones, computing and society as a whole – now augmented reality is poised to shake up the way we live our lives all over again.”
Draw & Code recently featured as one of the most influential companies working in AR alongside the likes of Pokemon Go-creators Niantic in the Venture Beat-published ‘2017 AR Landscape’. We have seen our peers rise from two-person teams to significant startups with investment of millions – this industry is growing up fast and is about to be accelerated by Apple’s latest gadgets.
Of course we have been experimented with Apple’s ARKit SDK ourselves, transferring some of the SwapBots characters into this markerless AR engine. Our work so far with ARKit has produced some startling results, when combined with the optimised abilities of the latest iPhones it will be a very powerful tool, just as Google’s ARCore looks set to be too.
“With Snapchat and Pokemon Go bringing AR to a wider audience the timing is perfect for Apple to commit to this medium” says John Keefe, “We regularly work out in Silicon Valley and the thinking there is that Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, along with existing AR platforms such as Vuforia, will give ambitious designers and developers the tools to change the way we interact with the world – this is big.”
A handy new smartphone feature is one thing, but revolutionising the world is quite another. So why does John think that AR will succeed where other much-vaunted products and technology has failed?
“AR is already accessible to billions of smartphone users world-wide and has the potential to turn any surface or space into an interactive, animated object – what’s not to like?”